Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to love and support one another, during this Christmas Holiday Season, by refusing to sneer and judge fellow believers.

16 December 2007

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Ord Military Chapel

Seaside CA

BIG IDEA: Believers are encouraged to love and support one another, during this Christmas Holiday Season, by refusing to sneer and judge fellow believers.

REFERENCES: John 7:5 (NIV) For even his own brothers did not believe in him;

James 5:7-11 (NIV); Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him; 1 Corinthians 15:7 (NIV) Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles; Romans 14:23 (NIV) But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin; Acts 1:4 (NIV) On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. James 1:1 (NIV) 1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings; Jude 1:1 (NIV) 1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,

To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father and kept by[a] Jesus Christ; Additional References: Josephus – First Century Church Historian … discussed “James the Just” which was James the brother of Jesus’ nick-name; Eusebius – Fourth Century Church Historian … indicates James was pushed off the pinnacle by the Jews, but the fall didn’t kill him … he managed to stumble to his knees to pray for his murders. So they finished the job by stoning him; Hegesippus – 2nd Century Church Historian … reference James the Just; Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.



III. READ THE TEXT: James 5:9 (NIV) Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to love and support one another, during this Christmas Holiday Season, by refusing to sneer and judge fellow believers.


VI. INTRODUCTION: In the American Judicial System of the 21st Century, as it has been in centuries before, prior to a judge exiting his chambers and entering the courtroom – the bailiff (an officer of the courts) makes the following pronouncement: “All Rise for His Honor ….!”

Then he – the bailiff - states the name of the Judge who will preside over the legal proceedings. Afterwards, upon entering through the door which stands between the Judges Chambers and the Courtroom, the judge makes a verbal gesture which is indicative of his authority by saying to all standing, “ You maybe seated”.

At which time, the judge proceeds to hear and see all evidence pertinent to the case at hand. Upon the conclusion, and hearing the closing augments of both the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney - the judge entertains the opinions of the jurors; and finally the judge decides what type of sentence or punishment is appropriate for the crime that has been committed.

*****************TAKE 5 BEATS ********************

MOVE 1: Now, my brothers and my sisters, in studying our passage of Scripture for this morning – several questions came to mind:

a. First, how can someone who has never been through what I’m going through suggest to me NOT TO THROW IN THE TOWEL OF MY FAITH when difficulties occur?

b. Second, How can someone who has never experience doubt and the lack of faith suggest to me to be STEADFAST in the midst of the tough times?

c. And finally, how can someone who has never truly experience the Christmas Season – because of their own foibles - …

d. … tell me how to hold on to my faith when other believers are doubting my faith during Christmastide?

*******************TAKE 5 BEATS*********************

MOVE 2: Well, my brothers and my sisters, the answers to my questions are also in our Scripture today.

a. For instance, James the younger brother of Jesus – who himself according to Church History (and it’s historians) didn’t become a believer himself until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ (TELL THE STORY OF JAMES AS A CHILD).

b. Yet, James encourages us during this Christmas Season to remain STEADFAST – and firm in our faith in Jesus Christ.

c. In other words, as believers we should be firm in our belief in spite of our circumstances … which ISN’T always easy.

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